NEW YORK, NY – The amount of rugby on display this weekend was enough to make eyeballs bleed… with joy! All told, there was the second round of the Six Nations (6N), Women’s 6N, U20 6N – as well as the 6N B, aka the European Nations Cup. In addition, all of the three big leagues in Europe, Top14, Aviva Premiership and Rabodirect Pro 12, were in action. If that wasn’t enough, the Wellington New Zealand 7s was also going on. Plus, we havethe latest news and transfers, so let’s dive right into the Weekend Rugby Recap.
Women’s 6N: The table is being propped up by a woeful Scotland side. They were held scoreless for a second consecutive match, this time against England, who topped the amount Ireland scored by 4… Ireland on the other hand, had a much tougher fight as they struggled past Wales… Italy was not as fortunate as they were last week, as they were outplayed by France.
U20: The Under 20 6N saw the reigning Junior World Champions, England, side easily handle Scotland… Last year’s Junior World Cup runners-up Wales, gutted out a win against Ireland in a tough match. France easily romped over Italy. This leaves France and Wales at the top of the table with England in hot pursuit.
6N B: The European Nations Cup (ENC), formerly known as the 6N B, seems to be playing out as many predicted. Georgia and Romania once again easily crushed their opposition of Portugal and Russia, respectively. Also as expected, the battle for 3rd is tighter than a Scotsman faced with buying a round, as Spain currently claims it after surviving a fierce match against Belgium – albeit a very slim one.
Here are the results:
SAT – 08 FEB 14
Portugal 9 – 34 Georgia
Russia 3 – 34 Romania
Spain 11 – 6 Belgium
NZ 7s: The Wellington 7s – or the NZ 7s – saw a rematch of the Las Vegas Final but this time it was the AIG All Blacks 7s coming out on top of the South Africa Blitzbokke… The USA stuck to their pattern of slow starts and last-second torment to go 2-4 in the tournament. They managed to win the Shield again in back to back to tournaments, however that still leaves them 15 points from safety in the standings at 14th place, while rival Canada has steamrolled into 9th.
Here are the top tries of the tourney:
Here are the results:
Cup: New Zealand
Second: South Africa
Aviva Premiership: Nimble Nick will be back later in the week to cover this weekend’s action and talking points. In the meantime, lets look at the results: Leicester won by the smallest margin possible over Worcester as did Northampton over Exeter and Harlequins over Wasps… That is how tight the matches were this weekend. In other close matches, London Irish surprised Saracens and Sale outlasted Gloucester… Bath were the only dominate winners of the weekend, as they easily took care of business against Newcastle.
Rabodirect Pro 12: The matches in the Pro 12 weren’t as tight as the AP, though Glasgow did just managed to get by Connacht and Ulster only downed the Ospreys by a penalty kick’s difference. Munster and Leinster romped over their opponents Cardiff and Zebre. Scarlets won in a high scoring affair against Treviso and the Dragons-Edinburgh match has to be rescheduled as the Dragons pitch was too waterlogged to play.
Here are the results:
Ulster 10 – 7 Ospreys
Treviso 33 – 41 Scarlets
Munster 54 – 13 Cardiff Blues
Newport Gwent Dragons vs Edinburgh (Postponed – due to waterlogged pitch)
Glasgow 8 – 6 Connacht
Zebre 8 – 31 Leinster
Signings/Player Moves: London Wasps will welcome Bradley Davies as the latest Welsh national team member to leave Wales… Bath have confirmed a re-signing of England international Kyle Eastmond for two further years but accepted the departure of Nick Abendanon (though he was signed through June 2015) to Clermont, after they agreed to pay a transfer and Abendanon put in a transfer request… In more Bath news, youngsters Kane Palma-Newport and Olly Woodburn agreed to new first team contracts… Leicester’s French scrum-half David Mele will sign on through the end of next season. Joining Mele are England Saxons Jordan Crane, Adam Thompstone and Miles Benjamin… Newcastle Falcons hooker George McGuigan has signed a two-year contract extension… Scrum-half Henry Pyrgos and hooker Dougie Hall signed new one-year deals with the Glasgow Warriors, meanwhile Argentine center Gabriel Ascarate has left the club and returned to his native Argentina to recover from a neck injury… Heading to Glasgow from Edinburgh as injury cover on the wing is Scotland’s Lee Jones… The Scarlets have signed experienced former England international Olly Barkley, who will join the squad for the rest of the season from Top14 side Grenoble. Leaving Scarlets is Wales international back-row Josh Turnbull who will be making a switch to Cardiff Blues. Joining him at Cardiff will be scrum-half Tavis Knoyle after agreeing to leave Gloucester… Edinburgh have announced the contract extension of 26-year-old Argentine international back-row Tomas Leonardi until the end of 2014/15. The Dragons have announced the signing of experienced prop forward Boris Stankovich, who will join them from Leicester at the end of 2013/14 season… Ulster have announced that Head Coach Mark Anscombe has signed a one-year contract extension to his current contract, staying til 2015… Toulouse wing Hosea Gear looks set to leave the French club at the end of the season in favor of a return to his native New Zealand… Oyonnax have confirmed the arrival of Toulouse prop Antoine Guillamon on loan until the end of the season… Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe has signed a new two-year contract with European champions Toulon to stay until 2016… Perpignan have announced the arrival of scrum-half Sébastien Descons from Racing-Métro as a medical joker.
Toulouse Boss Lashes Out at FFR: In Toulouse President Jean-René Bouscatel let his displeasure with the FFR (French Federation Rugby) and the LNR (Ligue Nationale de Rugby) arrangement that has Les Bleus depriving clubs of their top players for a fortnight at a time. The agreement also allows for the national staff to request that players be rested for next weekend’s round of Top 14 games, which he says devalue the Top 14 and make it unfair. Bouscatel has resigned from LNR board of directors, which he was a member off since 1998.
That’s it for now… feel free to comment below, look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter @: RugbyWrapUp, Junoir Blaber, DJ Eberle, Nick Hall, James Harrington, Cody Kuxmann, Jaime Loyd and Declan Yeats, respectively.
And until the next time… stay low and keep pumping those legs.